“Can I do Borobudur and Prambanan in one day?“
This is one of questions that I often get from my blog readers. This is possible for sure, and if you’re interested I’ll be happy to help you by offering you an all inclusive tour with a pickup from your hotel.
Also Read: The Best Yogyakarta Tours
First things first: Borobudur and Prambanan are not close to each other. Check out the map below to give you the idea of where the Borobudur temple is located and where Prambanan temple is located.
As you can see they both are located in different directions from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is located to the northwest of Yogyakarta and Prambanan is closer to the east part of Yogyakarta. From the distance point of view, Borobudur is approximately 45km from the city center, while Prambanan is 16km away from city center. The big distances involved make for a very long day.
If you want to take a one-day tour to Borobudur and Prambanan there are two main options available. Let me share the itinerary.
Borobudur and Prambanan One Day Tour
The best time to do the Borobudur and Prambanan tour is first thing in the morning for sunrise. Book a shared tour for the cheapest price (find out how below). The one-day Borobudur and Prambanan shared tour starts very early in the morning. If you join a Yogyakarta Borobudur Prambanan tour, most likely you will get picked up from your hotel at around 5am. You will arrive in Borobudur at 6am and get a chance to explore Borobudur Temple for three hours.
After visiting Borobudur you will have a 1.5-2 hour journey from Borobudur to Prambanan Temple. You will have two hours to explore Prambanan. At 1 or 2pm you will go back to Yogyakarta. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well… It is, but believe me you will feel drained.
Borobudur and Prambanan One Day Tour with Sunrise
This option is for people who like to get up early and want to see a beautiful sunrise. The itinerary is almost identical to the Borobudur and Prambanan one day tour, but you have to be ready at 4am. Instead of heading directly to Borobudur you go to Setumbu Hill. From the top of the hill you get a beautiful view of Borobudur wrapped in mist. It’s an amazing experience and you can read about it here if you’re interested.
Things to Consider
Borobudur and Prambanan complexes are both huge! Walking around and exploring the temple compounds is fun, but also quite hard work.
I think that the Prambanan Temple tour can be a little bit tricky. According to Wikipedia there are a total of 240 temples in the Prambanan complex. It’s that big! I’ve been to Prambanan more than three times and I still haven’t seen Candi Sewu (Sewu temple). The temple is located inside the Prambanan temple complex, but pretty far away from main temples of Prambanan.
Budgeting For Your Day Trip
For Discover Your Indonesia readers, a one-day group tour of Borobudur and Prambanan will include breakfast. The cost also covers pick up and drop off at your hotel. The mini bus that takes you is modern and has a driver who can speak basic English.
The entrance ticket to Prambanan and Borobudur costs are updated every year. Entrance for international visitors to Prambanan is higher than for Indonesian citizens and Kitas holders. Children below five can enter for free. The entrance fee to Setumbu Hill (for sunrise) is the same for domestic and international visitors.
Of course you don’t have to join a group tour. It is possible to hire a driver with a car who will take you to both temples (plus some more temples around Yogyakarta). Of course the added flexibility and comfort comes at an added cost. A one day tour to Borobudur and Prambanan with a personal driver can be arranged. You can click here to get more info and book the tour (there’s no deposit required).
There are additional optional costs to the tour. For example, if you really want to get more insights about Borobudur and Prambanan during your tour then you should consider to hire a guide. A tour guide costs Rp100,000 per hour.
A tour guide is of course not essential, but they are helpful. I used a tour guide while visiting Prambanan and I tell you that one hour isn’t enough to explain everything! Especially if you really interested in the subject. There are so many interesting things to learn about and discussions to have.
Although the cost for a day trip is very high, I do believe the experience is worth it. Both Borobudur and Prambanan are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer a unique insight into the history of Indonesia.
Borobudur and Prambanan Tours
There are downsides to doing a tour of Prambanan and Borobudur temples in one day. One big issue is just how tiring it is. My suggestion is: if you have the time, visit Borobudur and Prambanan on separate days. In the end, it is your decision. 🙂 The length of time you will spend in Yogyakarta is a big part of whatever decision you make. If you only have two days in this lovely city then yes, doing both temples in one day does make sense.
Whatever option you do decide to choose in the end, I can help. I’ve teamed up with a local travel agency to offer tours of Borobodur and Prambanan.
Borobudur Setumbu Hill / Barede Hill
Watch sunrise from the top of the valley overlooking Borobudur Temple. On a good day you will see Borobudur emerging from the mist. This is a shared group tour and transport is included in the price. You will need to purchase your own tickets to Borobudur and Prambanan temples.
Have you ever been to Yogyakarta? Did you visit both temples in one day? What was your experience?